10 Ways Organizations are like Organisms

September 19, 2012


Chapter 2 of Antonio Damasio’s “Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain” introduces the biological aspect of consciousness and the contributions of single cells and processes to an entire organism – from the eukaryotes themselves to the human body. The more I read (and re-read) the chapter, the more analogies emerged between these biological process […]

Posted in: management

Gun Control & the Belief in Small Numbers

July 22, 2012


There’s a tweet circulating following the terrible events in Colorado this week. It’s been retweeted more than 17,000 times now: “In one year, GUNS murdered 35 in Australia, 39 in England and Wales, 194 in Germany, 200 in Canada, and 9,484 in the United States….” This is exactly the type of fallacy drawn from the “Belief […]

Posted in: Government, Public Works

Loss Reserves hitting bank balance sheets

July 19, 2012


Under bank regulations, banks are required to set reserves against losses for defaulting mortgages (and other bad debt, mostly most mortgages….).  With the Q2 earnings posting last week and this week, these loss reserves are leading the headlines for the major banks. It’s interesting to see the difference of opinion on how to account for […]

Posted in: Uncategorized

Sh#t happens in big companies – On Talent & Charisma

April 12, 2012


Thoughts on leadership based on an article I happened across yesterday. From Malcolm Gladwell (July 2002) – “The Talent Myth: Are smart people overrated?” discussing the paper “The dark side of charisma” by Robert Hogan, Robert Raskin, Dan Fazzini: It [the paper] argued that flawed managers fall into three types. One is the High Likability Floater, […]

Posted in: management

The real reason no one wants the Yahoo patent suits against Facebook?

March 25, 2012


Everyone knows about Yahoo’s patent suit against Facebook. The conspiracy theory In the Silicon Valley ecosystem, Facebook has far more to lose than Yahoo! has to gain. Line up the two sides fighting this battle – Facebook is NATO while Yahoo! has Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Hence the conspiracy theory — Facebook has a $100 billion […]

Minimum Wage & Labor Unions

January 15, 2012


The unemployment rate for teenagers in the US is about 25% currently, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is more than three times the unemployment rate of all workers, which is currently around 8.5%. I shared this video in my Labor Relations class tonight – it is an interview with the late Milton […]

Posted in: Labor Market

Education without the Department of Education

January 14, 2012


1/19/12 UPDATE:  And now this article on TechCrunch about Bertelsmann’s University Ventures Fund. — The bigger promise of democratization and specialization of education is finally here, and it barely involves the public sector. Computer science undergrads have a standing employment offer from Google.  Yet universities insist that taking Sociology 101 is important to a “well-rounded education.” […]

Posted in: Education